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UN conference now under way in Bali « Previous | |Next »
December 3, 2007

I'm off for holidays for a week or so at Wilson's Promontory in the south eastern corner of Victoria. I'll try and post if I can find internet access at a public library or internet cafe as I doubt if there will be free wireless near the Promontory.

The big news for me whilst I'm away in the wilderness is the UN conference now under way in Bali. Will it represents a watershed in the history of climate negotiations? Australia's credibility as an international negotiator will turn on the extent to which the Rudd Government is prepared to move Australia towards a low carbon economy.

Garrettflaw.jpg
Bill Leak

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warns that global emissions must peak by 2015 and then decline if we are to avert catastrophic climate change. The successor to the Kyoto Protocol is the main game and it will have to be concluded by the end of 2009 if the new treaty is to come into force after the expiry of the Kyoto commitment period in 2012. Robyn Eckersley, writing in The Australian, says:

Two central challenges face the Bali negotiators. The first is to persuade developed countries to move towards robust targets in the next commitment period, such as the European Union's proposed 30 per cent cut below a 1990 baseline. The second is to engage the emerging big emitters from the developing world, such as China and India, in serious mitigation efforts. Whatever the outcome, it will build on the architecture of the Kyoto Protocol.

Will Australia commit to robust targets in the next commitment period, such as the European Union's proposed 30 per cent cut below a 1990 baseline?

So what will Australia do it if stands by its campaign backflip that it would only commit to a post-2012 agreement if both developed and developing countries accept binding commitments, when it is clear that it neither the US nor China will agree to mandatory targets in the second commitment period?

Eckersley says that a Rudd Government faces two choices.

The first choice is to accept that developing countries should not be asked to adopt binding targets in the second commitment period. This will require supporting strong targets for developed countries of at least 30 per cent. It will also require engaging big emerging emitters such as China and India on voluntary but effective mitigation measures.

The second choice is for Australia to insists on targets for all. Eckersley says that if so, then Australia: should
support an equitable formula for allocating differentiated emission targets that takes account of historical responsibility and capacity. One such model is EcoEquity's Greenhouse Development Rights. This model provides a threshold for graduation to Annex B that safeguards the rights of those living in poverty to reach a dignified level of sustainable human development. On this model, Singapore and South Korea would be expected to graduate to Annex B, while other developing countries would remain exempt until they reached the trigger. The targets of Annex B countries would be scaled according to responsibility and capacity.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:31 AM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

So I guess then TinTin has left the building.
And isn't Garrett looking very Gargoyle-ish.
A bit funny.

Gary,

Won't some of what ends up happening come as a result of the US being the only Western country to refuse to sign on? How might that changed political landscape affect the outcome?

We've also got some huge international corporations asking for carbon price fixing, the renewable energy example being set by California and Chinese concern about pollution at the Beijing olympics.